To understand this, just ask Hugo Robinson, it was June in 2008 that Hugo was preparing to boundary umpire the much awaited A Grade Amateurs, top of the tables clash, North Beach vs North Fremantle. Whilst that game did not live up to expectations, the game he is waiting for this week surely will.
Hugo has been appointed to the Perth v South Fremantle, League match at EFTEL Oval, for the first of what surely will be many games in his career.
The A Grade game in 2008, was somewhat of an experience for Hugo, with the game being run on the weekend of the general bye, WAFL field umpires were appointed to officiate.
With Ryan Shelton and Blake Luff, two entrenched reserves umpires, and league umpire David Panagopoulos coming back from injury, there was a lot of WAFL experience on the park that day. Hugo used the opportunity to soak up every bit of information about the WAFL and what he had to do to reach the state level, that he could.
His efforts in the game did not go unnoticed and his name was taken back to the WAFL coaches and mentioned as someone to look out for in coming years.
Panagopoulos who ran that game said, ‘Hugo’s effort in that game was outstanding and his demeanor on the field and off was something I hadn’t seen in a young bloke in some time. I did say to him that if he was to continue going the way he was, he would definitely make the WAFL panel in the future and that I hopefully looked forward to seeing him at the next pre-season.’
With Hugo continuing to perform during the
2008 season, he was invited to WAFL preseason training in 2009. When asked how
he felt about the preseason training, he commented that the Preseason down at
WAFL was very intense, but that the intensity was probably accentuated by
the fact he’d never done an official pre-season before. He said, ‘There's a lot
of gut-busting running, and the heat doesn't help at all, but it was
a very enjoyable experience and I learnt a lot from all the other blokes on the
Not only did Hugo use the preseason as a learning experience, he also used the opportunity to familiarize himself with the guys he would be running with during the season.
Hugo’s goals at the beginning of the season were to perform consistently well in Colts football and he hoped to make his debut in Reserves at some stage during the year, so to be making his League debut in only Rnd 14, came as a bit of a shock to the young boundary rider.
‘When I first found out that I was making
my debut, I was extremely happy and also felt some disbelief! I
am also a little bit nervous about the confronting challenge, but I’m sure
after my first decision, I will start to acclimatize to the step up.’
Hugo lives his umpiring life by a saying and it will certainly ring true for him as he walks onto EFTEL Oval, ‘Never let your fears get in the way of your dreams’.
Hugo joins a select few boundary umpires to make league football in his first WAFL season. With one of those to do it in the past, Nathan Doig, now spending most weekends running around Subiaco Oval in the AFL, who knows what the future for Hugo will hold.